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Waiver Instructions

All International students are subject to the mandatory health insurance requirement. Only students who choose to have insurance other than USC’s insurance are required to fill out an insurance waiver. If you need to waive USC’s insurance, you must fill out a waiver every Fall and Spring semester. Past waivers will not be valid. When submitting the waiver, you will need your USC student ID number, VIP ID number, and your local address. Do not use your social security number when filling out the waiver. The Fall 2019 insurance waiver period begins on June 3, 2019 and will end on September 13, 2019.

Insurance waivers will not be accepted after September 13, 2019. Please waive as early as possible to avoid issues with paying tuition, waiting for refunds, or having your classes dropped.

Step by step waiver submission instructions

To submit the waiver, please go to the BCBS Student Insurance waiver website and follow these instructions (if you have an BCBS account already, you will need to log in and waive from there):

  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to the section for "International Students Only" and select the appropriate link (Undergraduate, Graduate, or School of Medicine".
  • In the middle of the page (beneath the red text block) select "New Student Registration" and complete the registration screen. You will need your USC ID Number to complete the registration.
  • On the next screen, select the option that says "NO, I do not want the insurance" by clicking the red button that reads "WAIVE-Fall 2019-20."
  • Complete the waiver request by entering your personal information. You will need to attach and submit the following documents as well:
    • A front and back copy of your current policy's insurance card.
    • A copy of your full insurance policy describing benefits and exclusions for your current insurance plan. This plan needs to be in English and use U.S. currency.

After submitting the waiver, you should receive a message informing you that you have successfully submitted the insurance waiver and should have a pending waiver and a confirmation number. Save the confirmation number for future reference.

After your insurance information has been verified, you will receive an email from Academic Health Plans (the company handling the waiver process for Blue Cross Blue Shield) informing you that you have either an approved waiver or a declined waiver. Allow 5-7 business days to receive the approval or denial email. Please read these emails closely. Sometimes they will ask you to send more information like a copy of your insurance card or benefit summary. If you receive a declined waiver, you will have an explanation as to why the waiver was declined. You will then be able to update your waiver information on the website screen and resubmit.

If you do not receive any of these messages after submitting your waiver, you need contact the USC Student Health Center before the waiver deadline for assistance.

Waiver Frequently Asked Questions

Waiving out means that a student shows they are already covered by a health insurance plan that meets minimum requirements and does not need the student health insurance coverage. If the waiver is approved, the premium fee will be removed from the student’s tuition bill.

Coverage must allow the insured student to receive services in South Carolina and have coverage for the following services:

  • Out-of-pocket limit per policy year not to exceed $6,350/individual and $12,700/family.
  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorders (including behavioral health treatment)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services (to include dental and vision)
  • Chronic disease management
  • Unlimited maximum benefit per policy year per covered person
  • No pre-existing condition limitation
    Note – Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare plans are accepted as proof of adequate health insurance coverage.

Students will receive an email typically within 48 hours of entering their health insurance information on the secure web-site from Academic Health Plans (the company handling the waiver process for Blue Cross Blue Shield), confirming that their waiver has been accepted. Please remember to check your spam email account.

The Student Health Insurance Plan fee will automatically be removed from a student’s tuition bill after the waiver has been accepted. If the fee is not removed, you may contact Student Health Services.

The deadline is September 13, 2019. Please keep in mind if you purchase another policy, coverage must be effective on or before August 1, 2019 (fall term) or January 1, 2020 (spring term) and extend through the entire year (and/or semester), including breaks and holidays.

You will receive email notification if your waiver application has been denied, usually within 48 hours of submitting the information. Emails will come from Academic Health Plans, the company handling the waiver process for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Please remember to check your spam email account.

If you have questions about why the health insurance waiver was denied please contact Academic Health Plans, at 855-844-3015. You may also contact SHS’s Health Insurance Assistance office by email or at 803-777-3175, option 3.

You can submit an appeal if your waiver is denied. These appeals must be submitted to Student Health Services’ Health Insurance Assistance Office either by email or by phone. Each appeal will be carefully reviewed. If you have questions about the proof of insurance requirement, contact the Health Insurance Assistance Office at 803-777-3175, option 3 or

If you experience a qualifying event, you are allowed to purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan within 30 days of the qualifying event. A qualifying event means that your situation has changed and resulted in a loss of health insurance coverage.

Contact Academic Health Plans, the company handling the waiver process for Blue Cross Blue Shield, by calling 855-844-3015.


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